Published: June 6, 2009
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CAP was founded in 1990 to act as an advocate for the arts, serve the public by providing services and resources for county artists and arts organizations, and encourage collaboration among arts, education, business, civic and government organizations.Learn more
(ITHACA, NY)- In a quick turn-around from the unexpected loss of funding for 2009, Tompkins County's arts council, the Community Arts Partnership (CAP), has received word that general operating support from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) will be reinstated for 2010. Like 572 other arts organizations throughout the state whose NYSCA grants were up for consideration in the October or December 2008 Council Meetings, the Community Arts Partnership's general operating support for the current fiscal year was eliminated by Governor Patterson's Deficit Reduction Plan. The $32,000 requested for that grant covered 20% of CAP's administrative expenses. According to contracts recently received from NYSCA, the full $32,000 of funding will be reinstated for 2010.
In the meantime, however, CAP has a challenging year ahead. Executive Director, Brett Bossard, was disappointed, but not surprised by the loss of funding for 2009. "We saw the writing on the wall in late 2008 when NYSCA's grant review council meetings were being first postponed and then cancelled altogether," says Bossard. "We were developing contingency budgets as early as October." The contingency budget for CAP officially went into effect in February, when Governor Patterson's proposed mid-year cuts to NYSCA were approved by the State Legislature. Since then, CAP has had to reduce the scope and size of many of their services and again shelve one of its local grant programs. "The loss of the United Arts Funds Grants was definitely the bitterest pill to swallow," says Bossard. "We just had a successful relaunch of the program in 2008, which resulted in six grants being awarded to local artists and arts organizations. Without the operating support from the state, however, the money simply isn't there for the grants in 2009."
Bossard and the rest of the CAP staff are encouraged by the return of state funding next year and are focused on the many successes of the current year. Funding for state re-grant programs was received for the current year, and Program Director, Robin Schwartz, has already administered $63,000 in grants to local artists and arts organizations. Schwartz also continues to organize many public programs, including the ever-growing Greater Ithaca Art Trail. "Tourists, travelers, and locals can visit 53 studios on the trail," says Schwartz, "it's our largest group yet!" The summer artist market is seeing an expansion as well this year. According to Schwartz, the market will have the familiar home of the Ithaca Farmers Market, but it will move from a Sunday to a Friday and take over the entire facility: "We have more than 60 artists taking part this year, not to mention arts organizations, food vendors, and wineries." The full-day affair takes place on Friday, July 31st from 2 PM to 8 PM at the Farmers Market.
Bossard is awaiting responses from many additional state, federal and foundation grant applications, but says that a local fundraising campaign will launch soon to fill in the gaps left by this year's state cuts: "While we're very excited about 2010, CAP still needs to get through 2009. Hopefully, with our move to Center Ithaca and the excitement surrounding our other programs, we'll be able to encourage our many supporters to help us through this year."
CAP was founded in 1990 in response to a desire to strengthen and develop the County's arts and cultural community. After an exhaustive, inclusive, community cultural assessment, CAP was launched as a not-for-profit agency that would serve the public by providing services to the arts and artists of Tompkins County. For more information on the Community Arts Partnership and its programs and services, visit www.artspartner.org or call Program Director, Robin Schwartz at (607) 273-5072.